Garry Russ is an associate professor of marine biology at James Cook University in Australia and shares his Pew fellowship with Angel C. Alcala of Silliman University in the Philippines. Their individual and joint research indicated that marine reserves can play a major role in building fish abundance in reserves and increasing fish yields in adjacent areas through “spillover” (net export of adult fish). With their fellowship, they conducted a comparative study of fish stocks in five existing or new reserves in the Philippines and catch rates in surrounding areas to further evaluate “spillover” potential and the factors that improve it. Alcala and Russ have been working to strengthen local organizations responsible for the long-term protection and management of several marine reserves and sanctuaries. They completed underwater censuses and videos to map seven newly established or potential MPAs in the Bohol Sea (formerly Mindanao Sea). In addition, they have helped four villages that will be affected by new marine reserves to organize and plan for the future. Since 1999, they have set up or supported the creation of 18 no-take marine reserves in the Bohol Sea in collaboration with local communities and governments. Their community-based approach has proven very successful, with three proposals to set up protected marine areas being initiated by local governments in just one year.
To learn more about Russ, visit his bio online: http://www.coralcoe.org.au/person/garry-russ.